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Everything by Brigid Simmonds


Drinkaware goes to Derby


I was delighted when Drinkaware invited me to go to watch Derby Cou...

Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure 2020


Last year I was asked to provide a quote for a report being carried...

The Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year Competition - The ‘Cook-Off’


The BBPA organised its first Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year com...

A British Beer export strategy for the next five years


Last week, we launched our new [export strategy](http://www.beerand...

The impact of new planning laws


I have recently been clearing through old files, some of which rela...

Recruiting and retaining future talent in your business


As an industry we recognise the challenges of recruiting and retain...

The Sun story – 5.3 pence more tax on every pint


[You may have seen our story in The Sun at the weekend] (https://ww...

A visit to Hogs Back


It seems that you need to be called Thompson to to run Hogs Back br...

Pub is the Hub in Sussex


Last April, I attended the launch of the Pub is The Hub scheme with...

BBPA Annual Brewery Visit to Titanic Brewery


Titanic brewery was one of the few BBPA members I had not previousl...

The Great British High Streets competition launch


On Thursday morning Marcus Jones MP, the Minister with responsibili...

The Pub Skills Summit


This week, the PMA held its first Pub Skills Summit; a timely subje...

BBPA backing calls for a new India visitor visa to boost UK tourism


[A recently published report] (

Judging the BII Licensee of the Year award


It is always a privilege to be invited to judge the BII Licensee of the Year, and I think this is the fourth year I have been involved. This year BII had 270 applicants – the most ever, and the final six were invited to meet with the judges in Staffordshire to decide on a winner.

Pub is the Hub launches in East Sussex


I was fortunate enough to be invited to the East Sussex launch of P...

Catching up with KingstonFirst business improvement district


KingstonFirst (in Kingston upon Thames), was the first Business Imp...

Budget 2016 - the pub under pressure


As we move towards the Budget on 16th March, the BBPA team is very ...

Street Pastors


In a quiet country pub just after it opened at 11am on a Friday (Ha...

Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year Competition 2016


When the BBPA first approached Andrew Griffiths MP and the Parliame...

A BBPA visit to Wychwood brewery


The team went on their annual brewery tour to BBPA member brewery Wychwood.

Helsinki and the Northern Region of Brewers of Europe


Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds writes of her experience in Helsinki and attending a meeting of the Northern Region of Brewers of Europe

Hospitality Ulster Annual Awards


A blog post by Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds on judging the Hospitality Ulster Annual Awards.

Boxing clever with the Licensed Trade Charity


An evening with the [Licensed Trade Charity](http://www.licensedtra...

The Party Conference Season


In four weeks, I attended four party conferences. Although tiring, ...

Nick Clegg’s comments on the EU at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference


Visiting party conferences is important for establishing relationsh...

Removing barriers to Trade in the USA


BBPA has for some time been engaged with Government on the negotiations known as The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Is British beer getting stronger? A look at the facts


You may have seen the research from Mintel reported in the Daily Te...

Come on England! Best of luck to our World Cup team


The next few days promises to be a bumper one for sports fans, with...

British Institute of Innkeeping AGM


Since the BII were holding their AGM in a nearby Livery Hall yester...

Hospitality Ulster launches in Belfast


BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds visited Belfast for the launch of Hospitality Ulster.

Meeting the Brewers of Europe in Tromsø


Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds visited Tromsø for the meeting of the Northern countries who make up Brewers of Europe.

BII Licensee of the Year 2015


The [British Institute of Innkeeping Licensee of the Year](http://w...

Inspirational young chefs at the Nestlé Professional Toque D’Or grand final


The Nestlé Professional Toque D’Or grand final awards is always ins...

The Original Social Network


The Scottish Beer & Pub Association led the launch of a short film to promote the ‘on trade’ sector in Scotland at Holyrood on 31st March.

Report from the Drinkaware Roadshow


Brigid Simmonds and Daisy Blench attended the new Drinkaware London Roadshow and the opening of the organisation’s new offices.

Refreshing the growth strategy for England’s Tourism


Visit England has launched a consultation on their Growth Strategy towards 2020

Recruiting the next generation of pub chefs


As part of the BBPA’s commitment to helping our members improve the...

Inspiring the Future


Inspiring the Future aims to motivate young people and give them guidance in shaping decisions they will make which will affect their future.

Pubs of Ulster Annual Award


I was delighted to be asked to be one of the judges for this year’s Pubs of Ulster Awards, which were announced in Belfast last week.

Timothy Taylor brewery tour


Every year, the BBPA team visits one of our members so we all gain ...

There's a Beer For That


Last year, five major brewers (AB Inbev, Carlsberg, Heineken, Molso...

LVS Oxford; the new school for the Licensed Trade Charity


I was fortunate enough to visit the new Licensed Trade Charity scho...

Institute of Licensing summit


The Institute of Licensing held a very useful and timely Super Strength summit in Birmingham last week to discuss the number of local authorities which are following the example of Ipswich and pursuing voluntary schemes restricting retailers from selling higher-strength beers and ciders

The death of the high street? I think not!


"High Street gloom as Britain shuts up shop" claims The Times, but ...

Fracking – assessing the threat to beer


As the Government opens bidding for the 14th round of onshore licen...

Acas Breakfast Briefing - Zero Hours Contracts


The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, which deals wit...

Business Improvement Districts for town centres and tourism


Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have existed in the UK since ...

Employment Roundtable with the Department of Work and Pensions


Good recruitment, training and retention are key objectives for all...

Local Bans on High Strength Beers


I had an opportunity this week to meet informally with Police and C...

Raising the standards of pub retailing


Training, qualifications and professional standards are all key to the reputation and standing of the British beer and pub industry and all were illuminated at the BII Annual Lunch and the SAB Miller Scholars Programme which held its Graduation ceremony this week.

Bernard Brindley (3rd June 1950 to 20th April 2014)


I was able to drive to the very beautiful village of Monks Kirby in...

Pub chefs of the future


I was privileged to attend the finals of the Nestle Toque d'Or competition for young chefs and front of house staff from colleges around the UK.

A cut in beer duty will be enjoyed by hardworking people – and it also supports a great British Industry


The suggestion that a cut in beer duty helps hardworking British people is backed up by a recent YouGov survey commissioned as part of our Budget campaign. It found that almost a fifth of workers were put off going out to the pub until pay day, because they could not afford it. It also found that there was huge support (69 per cent) amongst the UK adult population for a cut or freeze in beer duty.

Trade visit to the Black Country


I was very privileged to be offered a visit to the Black Country with Richard Matthews, our soon to be retiring Midlands’ Secretary, who has served the industry so well. At the invitation of Stuart Plant and Andy Crump, we went to see three Punch pubs and visited Black Country Ales.

Jobs lead the agenda at BBPA working group


The BBPA Jobs Working Group met this week in Cardiff, under the chairmanship of Scott Waddington of S A Brain. Although our membership was slightly depleted due to travelling difficulties, we had a very good exchange of information on subjects ranging from the BBPA Budget submission to work experience, apprenticeships and the Pub Chefs campaign to an update from People 1st. We even visited the very impressive Brain's training kitchen.

Pub Companies and the Opposition Debate


Once again the BBPA and our pub company members are in the firing line as the Labour Party holds an opposition debate on pub companies and their relationship with their lessees and tenants.

The Christie + Co Business outlook for Pubs, Restaurants and Leisure


Christie + Co held their annual Business Outlook event last night to launch their 2014 review. Frances Edmonds hosted a question and answer session with David Rugg, their Chairman, and Chris Day, the Managing Director.

2013 - a turning point for the industry


*As featured in On-trade Review* I hope we look back on 2013 as ...

Beer Serves Europe IV


For the fourth year running, the Brewers of Europe(BoE) hosted 'Beer Serves Europe' in Brussels. This year the theme was economy and beer. It marked the launch of the EY report 'The Contribution made by Beer to the European Economy' and also a positive piece of research from the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) 'The European Beer Industry; incentivising the growth potential'. Following speeches from the President of the Brewers of Europe and the EESC, I was invited to sit on the panel for an hour's discussion.

The Best of British – Celebrating the Great Campaign


When an invitation arrives on your desk to be a guest of Her Majesty’s Government in the Locarno Suite at the Foreign Office, you are certainly keen to go. Dating back to 1868 and designed by George Gilbert Scott, the Locarno Suite has recently been completely restored and is truly magnificent. Last night we were there to be thanked for our part in supporting the GREAT campaign.

Irish Eyes are Smiling!


BBPA has always worked closely with the licensed victuallers in England, Scotland, and Ireland, but we have most recently looked at strengthening our ties with Pubs of Ulster, whose reach extends to cover most of hospitality, but with a strong emphasis on responsible retailing and working as we do, closely with Government.

Waste water and the Secretary of State


£3.5 million has been invested by Shepherd Neame in a new Waste Water Recovery Plant in Faversham. The site, a former Tesco distribution base was opened yesterday by the Rt. Hon Owen Paterson MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Andy Tighe and I were privileged to be present.

Employing ex-Service Personnel


Over 20,000 Servicemen and women leave our armed services each year. This is partly because of wastage and a natural end to a short service career, but in recent years the re-structuring of our Armed Forces has led to many being made redundant.

Inspirational women of the year


I was hugely honoured to be invited to the Barclays’Women of the Year lunch on Monday. As many of you will know, I am neither a big fan of all female events (which is just as well since most of the members of the BBPA are male!), nor am I particularly fond of lunch! I did, however, feel attracted to this event, chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and whose Financial Director is Diane Coyne from Brewers’ Hall.

Promoting British Beer in Cologne


I flew to Cologne at the weekend for ANUGA, one of the largest food and drink festivals in Europe. I was there at the invitation of UK Trade & Investment who asked me to attend the launch of the UK Food and Drink International Action Plan with Owen Paterson MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. We have been working with UKTI for some months now to develop a beer action plan as part of their export strategy and at this event they launched a plan to assist up to 200 alcohol producers to export more, with a targeted programme of inward and outward business visits to grow exports internationally.

From Glasgow to Brighton and a few places in between!


The Liberal Democrats chose to hold their conference in Glasgow this year at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference centre along the river Clyde. If you have not been to Glasgow for a while, it has been transformed, particularly around the river bank and as they prepare to host the Commonwealth Games next year, there is considerable investment in infrastructure. It was, however, a rather a complicated space for the Lib Dems and my abiding memory will be walking miles!

Travels in September


I am currently reading Robert Louis Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey, which is particularly appropriate given this month’s travel-heavy schedule and my recent holiday in the Cevennes! I am of course very thankful that methods have improved somewhat – as I will be taking the usual plane or train as opposed to donkey… September brings regional meetings, party conferences and the Brewers of Europe gathering in Croatia. So here are a few words on each…

Jamie Oliver’s challenge – food for thought


Jamie Oliver has ignited a lively ‘silly season’ debate with his comments about lower income families who are more willing to spend money on the largest possible television than they are on better quality food for their families.

Theft from the Person


I sit on the Forum for Innovation in Crime Prevention which is chaired by Jeremy Browne MP, the Minister for Crime Prevention. Our meetings have focused on the issue of ‘Theft from the Person’, otherwise known as pick-pocketing (it is only classed as robbery if force is involved).

Sky pricing


I was invited to meet with BSkyB on Friday to discuss their pricing for the forthcoming year which was announced today. Here is a little colour to add to their press release.

Licensed Trade Charity - Inspiring hope


The Licensed Trade Charity supports people who work in both brewing...

Responsibility: military ID and this week's Home Office discussion


In 2011 for the first time, the Government announced that armed for...

Visit to Fullers by the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group and Save the Pub Group


The All Party Parliamentary Beer Group (chaired by Andrew Griffiths MP) and the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group (chaired by Greg Mulholland MP) visited Fullers brewery in Chiswick last week. Some sixteen MPs and two members of the House of Lords were there too, for what you might expect was a fascinating brewery tour and some very generous hospitality. The group comprised MPs, including the Shadow Business Minister, Toby Perkins; and Gavin Williamson who introduced the late night debate on the beer duty escalator.

Brigid Simmonds appears at BIS Select Committee: Pub companies – a note


I gave evidence to the BIS Select Committee yesterday and although you can watch the session online, here, I thought the below note covering my responses would be useful for members to have to hand.

Campden BRI Day 2013


Over 500 people attended the Campden BRI Day this year. This included 20 members from brewing companies, thanks to the persuasion and persistence of Tom Falcon from Shepherd Neame who spoke passionately about the need to support this event at a recent dinner in Brewers Hall. It was my first visit to the Chipping Campden site of Campden BRI, now fully merged with BRI at Nuffield where much of the brewing research is undertaken, and whilst a 5.15 am start made it a rather long day, it was certainly worthwhile!

Inspiring the caterers of tomorrow


I attended the Nestlé Toque d’Or Awards Dinner, to congratulate those high achievers being presented with awards as a result of the catering competition, which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. The competition has a reputation for challenging and inspiring chefs and front of house teams of the future.

A view from Europe


Brewers of Europe (BoE), holds quarterly meetings of ‘Secretaries General’ (my equivalents). Last week, they met in Luxembourg and on Friday this was followed by the General Assembly which was also attended by BBPA Chairman Jonathan Neame.

BII Annual Lunch - judging Licensee of the Year


It was all the more special to attend the BII Annual Lunch this year, as I had been asked to be a judge for the final six candidates for the Licensee of the Year. My role on a panel with the previous year’s winner Madhis Neghabian and Kate Oppenheim, the new Editor of BII Business was to ask questions about social responsibility. It was a very heartening experience. So many of the six shortlisted licensees really did take their social responsibility seriously. They knew about unit awareness, reducing the strength of house wines and 2.8% beers. They looked after their customers and cared about their welfare. Ashley and Kelly McCarthy of Ye Old Sun Inn in Colton, near York were worthy winners this year.

Cracking holiday at home, Gromit!


Of the UK’s tourist income, 80% comes from those who choose to holi...

Brewing and Beer Brands Forum


The Worshipful Company of Brewers hold a series of four short talks each year, followed by dinner under the title of Brewing and Beer Brands and I was delighted to be invited last night in Brewer's Hall (no excuse for being late!)

Visit Britain's new tourism strategy


Visit Britain, which promotes inbound tourism to the UK, launched a new strategy this week, which I was really pleased to attend.